In the past 25 years, relationship science has grown from a nascent research area to a thriving subdiscipline of psychological science. In no small measure, this development reflects the pioneering contributions of Ellen Berscheid and Elaine Hatfield. Beginning at a time when relationships did not appear on the map of psychological science, these two scholars identified relationships as a crucial subject for scientific psychology and began to chart its theoretical and empirical territory. In this article, we review several of their most influential contributions, describing the innovative foundation they built as well as the manner in which this foundation helped set the stage for contemporary advances in knowledge about relationships. We conclude by discussing the broader relevance of this work for psychological science.
- interpersonal relations